INSTANT POT KITCHARI (LIGHTLY SPICED LENTILS AND RICE)

Learn how to make Kitchari in your Instant Pot – a traditional Indian recipe for basmati rice with red lentils or Moong Dal that is easy to digest, packed with fiber and warming spices! Perfect for the cold season.

Kitchari (pronounced kich-uh-ree) is a delicious, warming and super nourishing combination of split mung beans or quick-cooking lentils and white basmati rice with plenty of spices.  It’s the perfect soul-hugging food for rainy days when you’re a bit under the weather.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup long grain white basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking lentils such as split Red lentils (masoor dal) or (petite yellow lentils)Mung Dal or both
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/3 tsp cumin seeds or 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger finely chopped
  • 1 green Chili, chopped serrano or birds eye, or use half a jalapeño
  • 1 bay leaf or 6 curry leaves , optional
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tspgaram masala, optional
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne optional
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1 to 2 cups chopped vegetables
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water 2.5 for saucier

Instructions

  • Wash the lentils and rice then soak in hot water for 15 minutes. 
  • Heat the Instant Pot on saute. Add oil and let it heat up. Add cumin or mustard seeds and cook for half a minute. 
  • Add the onion, Chile, garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt (and bay leaves or curry leaves) and cook for 2 mins.
  • Add ginger and spices and mix in. 
  • Add tomato and cook for 3 mins. Mash the larger pieces. Add 2 tbsp water to deglaze mid way.
  • Drain and add the lentils and rice. Add water, salt, veggies and mix well to pick up any stuck bits. 
  • Close the lid and pressure cook one of the following times. Low pressure for 3 mins for pictured version. High pressure for 3 to 6 minutes for a porridge and if using mung dal. Once the cooking cycle is done, quick release the pressure after 5 mins. 
  • Fold in a few tbsp chopped cilantro and lemon juice to taste and fluff. Taste and adjust salt and flavor. Store refrigerated for upto 3 days.
Instant Pot Kitchari Recipe - Easy, Vegan & Gluten-free